Donald Trump Left without Support

The president’s most influential ally has turned away from him.

The United States Electoral College uneventfully certified Democrat Joe Biden’s election as president, which seems to have stabilized the political situation in the country. Biden’s triumph is recognized not only by his allies but also by many opponents, particularly by Donald Trump’s closest ally, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Loyalty to Donald Trump is highly valued. The Republican Party, which has changed nearly beyond recognition since 2016 and become the party of Trump, understands this well. Starting at the beginning of November, the party did not recognize Biden’s victory and supported the president when he refused to accept the election results. The party also supported the president when he launched a knowingly doomed crusade to contest these results. The party further supported him when this campaign to overturn the election ended in complete defeat, having lost dozens of court cases. There were occasional instances where those who disagreed with Trump’s course of action spoke up, but they were quickly drowned out by the general chorus of those who said, “when we say ‘party,’ we mean Trump!”

The secret is simple: Trump is popular among ordinary Republicans, and his word can play a decisive role in the fate and career of any Republican politician. And that’s what compelled party members to ignore the facts for a long time.

Now, however, everything has changed. One of the most powerful people in Washington, Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell, has openly acknowledged the new reality.

He also asked his colleagues not to support the initiative to challenge Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, when the entire Congress will assemble to certify the vote by the Electoral College.

McConnell’s logic is understandable: If at least one Republican candidate wins in the Jan. 5 Senate election in Georgia, the party will retain a majority in the upper house. This means that the entire political dynamic in Washington will depend on how Biden and McConnell work together. For example, whether the president will be able to have his Cabinet nominees confirmed will depend on the Republican leader.

It should be noted that McConnell acted very judiciously. First, he waited a long time before admitting the Democrat candidate’s victory. Second, he warned Trump about his upcoming move. Third, when he congratulated Biden,, he began by listing Trump administration successes. But McConnell was recently reelected to a new six-year term, and some Republicans will face primary elections, in which support or criticism from the president could be decisive.

Actually, it was precisely this consideration that led to statements similar to those that Sen. Kevin Cramer from North Dakota made to reporters (even before McConnell spoke). In response to questions about whether Biden could be considered the president-elect, he said, “Well, it seems to me that being elected by the Electoral College is a threshold where a title like that is probably most appropriate, and it’s, I suppose you can say official, if there is such a thing as official president-elect, or anything-else-elect.” It now appears that all senators can be expected to recognize Biden’s election.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris accepted the congratulations and, in fact, invited Republicans to come together. “I think it’s critically important. I applaud Mitch McConnell for talking to Joe Biden,” she said in an interview with ABC News, emphasizing that it would have been better if this had happened earlier. Considering the current environment, this is remarkable. “Let’s move forward. And where we can find common purpose and common ground, let’s do that. Let that be our priority,” she said.

Now, at the end of the Trump era, the fate of American politics will depend on the interaction between Republicans and Democrats. But there is reason for optimism. During his presidency, Barack Obama frequently instructed Vice President Biden to negotiate with McConnell. And McConnell himself spoke warmly and with humor about the Democratic vice president in his memoirs. “As my dad would’ve said about the vice president if they’d ever met, if you ask him what time it is, he’ll tell you how to make a watch.”

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